Very good try! I don't see why it didn't work better. We are missing something. Perhaps it is sucking in a small amount of air somewhere, and that is the bubbles? I hope you keep thinking about this to see if it can be simpler and work better.
i'm going to get the pieces I need to put the house filter back on. it won't ruin the reactor I built, so I can continue to look at it.
it's in a bucket, and over the evening leaked out maybe 3" into a 5g homedepot bucket, but there is also the displacement of the 4" pvc as well.
I have duct tape wrapped around the leaking spot; though I think i'm still seeping at the bottom.
I may look into an aquarium safe epoxy that I can toss down into the reactor to seal it up. I can't reach the 4' I need to run pvc cement over the joints so I can give it another shot.
My one big issue is the size of this thing. it's huge. the extra water volume in the system is closer to the top of the sump (when the pump is off) than I'd like. I'm used to having maybe 1.5", now we're less than 1/2" from the rim. it also takes up a lot more space in the maintenance area; so i'd love to maybe put it under the tank. I have, maybe, a 2' length of 4" pvc left over, so I may make another, smaller, reactor with that. I could also try diverting some water to the reactor, and the rest right to the tank itself, since I have two outlets in the tank itself i wouldn't need to rejoin then, just put a ball valve on the non-reactor side.
Maintenance is going to be a pain as well. I liked the idea of opening it up to clean out, but the flush screw plate is a bear to get on and off! I very much prefer the ease of the cerges style. but my biggest issue with that is i haven't found a way to permanently affix tubing/pvc to the outlet inside. the plastic doesn't melt from the pvc cement, and the 1" pvc doesn't fit inside the outlet... but a 1" id pvc tube does.
the bubbles in the tank are smaller, but I'll see when i add the cerges back on.
right now i'm going to focus on getting a shelf/rack put together in the fish "room". I'll be picking up some jae barbs in january and want a place for them to live and breed. once they're in place I'll revisit this reactor.